Monthly Archives: December 2010

DiFi takes on the Pirates

The Internet is being flooded with pirates that put Californians’ intellectual property at risk.  I don’t have to tell you, but the entertainment industry itself employs hundreds of thousands in California, and it’s not just in LA.  Emeryville hosts the creative geniuses behind Toy Story 3 at the Pixar Animation Studio and George Lucas spent an estimated $350 million for his digital arts studio in the Presidio.  Not to mention the up-and-coming studios and production facilities that are in the City employing multitudes of producers, editors and actors.

So what, beyond Pirates of the Caribbean 4, do pirates have to do with California’s entertainment industry?  Plenty.  As you read this, pirated copies of new movies will have virtually flooded the Internet.  For example, Cisco predicts that by 2014 it will take more than two years to watch the video that will cross the global IP network every second. Of this mind-boggling amount of video, a large part of it is unauthorized video content stolen from California studios. In fact, the Motion Picture Industry of America estimates that it loses over $25 billion a year to piracy.

What does this mean for California?  In its most simplistic terms, it means lost opportunity for jobs and investment.  The studios are faced with a tough recession, and, the popular wisdom that the industry is recession proof is being challenged in light of studio consolidations and release numbers.  If the industry is bleeding billions of dollars to pirates, that’s money it could be otherwise investing in movie-making, and, consequentially job-making.  The Internet marketplace has provided opportunity like we could never have imagined for the entertainment industry and innovators across the state but it also has created an opportunity for very costly mischief.  As a state, and as a nation, we need to arm the federal government with the tools it needs to take on those who seek to unfairly and unlawfully profit from the labors of California’s best and brightest.

Senator Patrick Leahey recently sponsored a bill, S.3804, the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” that was co-sponsored by our own Senator Dianne Feinstein that will do just that.  It gives the feds an expedited means to take on rogue websites whose business model it is to facilitate the digital theft of copyrighted works.  Last week, a large, and diverse cross-section, of the Internet marketplace wrote a letter to Senator Leahey supporting swift passage of S.3804, including Sony Music Entertainment, Disney, NBC Universal, and Major League Baseball (Go Giants!).   CALinnovates would like to echo their support on behalf of our membership of California innovators and specifically to thank Senator Feinstein for her support of California innovation against the very real, and not very cute, threat of piracy.

California Hold ‘em

What does this mean for California?  A lot, and far beyond the rooftop solar panels you see popping up in your neighborhoods.   The defeat of Prop 23 sent a strong message that Californians want California to lead in cleantech. The tallies on election night not only meant that there is a mandate for renewable energy, but also, that there is both an appetite for and support of increased cleantech innovation.

Cleantech creates opportunity, not only to do something environmentally responsible, but also to create jobs. At a time when our state unemployment rate hovers around a frightening 12%, the tech sector continues to grow (as much as 62% growth in Silicon Valley this year). Cleantech innovation is happening all over California: it’s happening at Cisco, where tele-presence innovation will revolutionize environmentally responsible telecommuting. It’s happening in the Mojave Desert where NRG and BrightSource are building the largest solar field to date. Innovation is not just happening at big companies: California start-ups are the backbone of this industry. Cool Lumens is manufacturing LED skylights that dramatically lower electricity consumption in large commercial spaces like warehouse stores and ChloriFill is making fiberboard out of agricultural waste.

California is the innovation engine of the world and Californian’s believe that technology will lead the way to recovery from this crippling recession.  The smart money agrees as forty percent of all cleantech venture dollars land in California and cleantech is the #1 focus of the VC community according to Pepperdine’s business school. The resounding defeat of Prop 23 sent yet another strong message that voters want to continue this tradition of leadership in innovation.

Los Angeles has been at the forefront of the California clean tech revolution. The Environmental Defense Fund credits LA with hosting the most cleantech companies in the State, including, thanks to City leadership, the forthcoming BYD North American HQ. The EPA lists LA as having the most Energy Star-rated buildings in the country. LADWP, in partnership with IBEW Local 18, leads the state and country in the transition to renewable energy and it is accomplishing that feat almost entirely with existing infrastructure.  It’s no wonder that on election night nearly 70% of LA County voters stood up-against Texas and for California innovation.

CALinnovates Reaching Out to FCC

Strong and Wide Support for Chairman Genachowski’s Open Internet Framework

“President Obama is strongly committed to net neutrality in order to keep an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, consumer choice, and free speech.  The announced action by FCC Chairman Genachowski, building on the work of Chairman Waxman’s collaborative effort to craft legislation in this area, advances this important policy priority.”

– Aneesh Chopra, CTO, White House, December 1, 2010
“The Communications Workers of America supports Chairman Genachowski’s initiative to sustain open Internet principles and create the stable conditions necessary for critical investment and quality job creation in broadband networks.”

– Larry Cohen, President, CWA, December 1, 2010
“We commend Chairman Genachowski for recognizing that the time to act is now. The Internet is and should remain a medium that is open to innovation, not one where big network operators get to pick winners and losers.  This rulemaking is about preserving the characteristics that have made the Internet such an overwhelming success.”

– Leslie Harris, President, Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), December 1, 2010. CDT is a non-profit public interest organization working to keep the Internet open, innovative, and free

“Maintaining an Open Internet is critical to our economy’s growth and Chairman Genachowski and his team deserve kudos for their thoughtful leadership. This effort is a pragmatic balance of innovation, economic growth and crucial investment in the Internet. We look forward to working with FCC to protect these principles so the Internet grows and thrives for generations to come.”

– John Doerr, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is a venture capital firm that has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign and Zynga.

“As the founder of Craigslist and a passionate believer in the economic and social benefits of an open and free Internet, I proudly endorse the Chairman’s historic efforts to protect these important principles in our society. Common-sense rules of the road will help ensure certainty in markets while also preserving the openness and freedom of the Internet that has helped generate millions of jobs and share billions of ideas around the world.

– Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist, December 1, 2010.

“I am proud to join a diverse coalition in support of the Chairman’s proposed rules of the road. This light-touch, common-sense framework will help protect investment and innovation throughout the ecosystem and will ensure certainty in markets for years to come.”

– Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel, December 1, 2010.  SV Angel is a Silicon Valley technology angel venture fund.

“We applaud the work of the Chairman Genachowski and FCC on this draft Open Internet framework.  Chairman Genachowski has offered a quality framework that hits the right balance between encouraging investments, fostering innovation and protecting consumers in a manner that is both transparent and enforceable.”

– Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet.  TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of more than four hundred CEOs. Its members represent more than one million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, e-commerce and finance.

“Today ADE commends the FCC for embracing this spirit, rejecting partisan bickering and choosing mainstream compromise over extreme action in the debate over net neutrality. Today’s announcement shows that thoughtful debate on policy can lead to solutions that uphold our commitment to preserving the open Internet while maintaining a focus on the priorities of the American people:  restoration of our economy and a solution to creating jobs.”

– Shirley Franklin, Senior Advisor, Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), December 1, 2010.  The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities.

“We believe that today’s net neutrality proposal from the FCC represents an important step forward.  It’s vital for net neutrality regulations to promote new investments by network operators to increase broadband speeds, while also ensuring that consumers easily can access content and services from both start-up and established companies with the necessary quality of service and at the highest speeds available.”

– Statement by Fred Humphries, Microsoft, December 1, 2010.

“We applaud Chairman Genachowski for his leadership in moving forward with a balanced approach in the face of the heightened polemics on this issue…[t]he FCC’s policy position represents a fair middle ground that will provide regulatory certainty to an issue that has been lacking it since the Comcast decision last spring.”

– Dean Garfield, CEO, Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), December 1, 2010.  ITI is an advocacy group representing global leaders in innovation–from all areas of the ICT sector including hardware, services, and software.

“We … urge you to bring the Open Internet rulemaking to conclusion …the Commission can provide the certainty necessary for policymakers, consumers, investors, and innovators that the Internet will remain an open network, under the watchful eye of the Federal Communications Commission, and that the service will be delivered and managed with full and complete transparency.  Combined, that will make it possible for the agency, advocates, engineers, and the media to police practices that could threaten innovation at the edge of the network. … We understand that there are some who would have you go further and some that would have you do nothing.  But we believe you are headed toward a principled center and we support that effort.”

– Senators John F. Kerry, Byron Dorgan and Ron Wyden, November 30, 2010.

“As an early-stage investor with deep ties to the technology community, I applaud Chairman Genachowski’s proposed framework to protect a free and open Internet. Nothing is more important to America’s economic future than the protection of a free and open Internet, and I am confident that Chairman Genachowski’s proposed framework will achieve just that.”

– Ram Shiram, Founder, Sherpalo Ventures, December 1, 2010. Sherpalo is a venture capital firm that supports the development and commercialization of technology companies.

“If you believe in the need to protect the open Internet, this is the realistic way forward, and it could lay the groundwork for other steps if necessary in the future.”
– Kevin Werbach, Professor, Wharton School of The University Of Pennsylvania, December 1, 2010.

“We commend the Federal Communications Commission for tentatively putting open Internet rules on the agenda for the Dec. 21 Commission meeting and for, we expect, circulating a draft order.  As Comcast’s recent actions have shown, such rules are urgently needed.”

– Gigi B. Sohn, President and Co-founder Public Knowledge, December 1, 2010

“We are pleased that the FCC appears to be embracing a compromise solution that is sensitive to the dynamics of investment in a difficult economy and appears to avoid over-regulation. … Such an approach would reduce regulatory uncertainty, and should encourage investment and innovation in next generation broadband services and technologies.  In that regard, we remain committed to working with the FCC to bring the benefits of broadband to all Americans.”

– Jim Cicconi, AT&T, December 1, 2010.

“As a technology venture capitalist representing hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, I strongly support your proposed rules to protect an open and free Internet….your proposal will help incubate growth for decades to come and should be adopted without further delay.”

– Jed Katz, Managing Director, Javelin Venture Partners, December 1, 2010.  Javelin Venture Partners is an early stage venture capital firm specializing in technology based start-ups.

“DISH Network applauds Chairman Genachowski for moving forward on critically important net neutrality rules.  His proposal is a solid framework for protecting the open Internet”.
– Charles Ergen, Chairman, President and CEO, Dish Network, December 1, 2010.

“Today’s announcement by the FCC represents a prudent and balanced approach to managing the growing volume of traffic on the Internet.  IBM will continue to work with others in the IT industry as this process moves forward to support fair and reasonable rules that will encourage continued investment in smarter systems in the United States.”

– Christopher Padilla, Vice President, Government Programs, IBM, December 1, 2010.

“FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski deserves a lot of credit for proceeding so thoughtfully and choosing a commonsense compromise in the face of hyper-partisan brinksmanship.”

– David Sutphen, Co-Chair, Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), December 1, 2010. The Internet Innovation Alliance is coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American has access to broadband Internet.
“Today’s proposal seems to be the most effective option for reducing regulatory uncertainty in the broadband marketplace, enabling more widespread investment and deployment that will ultimately benefit consumers and our economy.”

– Bruce Mehlman, Co-Chair Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), December 1, 2010. The Internet Innovation Alliance is coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American has access to broadband Internet.

We understand and are pleased that the proposed rules have moved away from broad Title II regulation and toward a more tailored approach that recognizes the unique nature of wireless services. … We believe significant input from a bipartisan majority of Congress and others, and the willingness of the Chairman to seek a workable solution, have contributed toward making the proposed rules less onerous. … [W]e appreciate the Chairman’s attempt to find a way forward on this issue that recognizes the need to create certainty in the market and facilitate investment.”

– Steve Largent, President and CEO, CTIA-The Wireless Association, December 1, 2010
“We applaud Chairman Genachowski for supporting a measured, forward-looking policy framework that recognizes the dynamic nature of the telecom ecosystem and the importance of continued investment, job creation and innovation in the vibrant communications sector. We appreciate Chairman Genachowski’s leadership, commitment and support for continued growth and opportunity for consumers, technology innovators and workers, and investors in the communications sector and throughout the U.S. economy.”

– Jonathan Spalter, Chairman, Mobile Future Coalition, December 1, 2010.  The Mobile Future Coalition is coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals advocating for an environment in which innovations in wireless technology and services are enabled.

“We believe that it is a fair resolution of this set of issues and that it is proposed in a way that achieves our essential and shared objectives:  preserving the openness of the Internet and the incentives to invest and innovate for the benefit of consumers.  And I want to thank and applaud Chairman Genachowski, his Chief of Staff, Eddie Lazarus, and their staff for listening, for their hard work on incredibly complex business and technology issues, and for their leadership in seeking a fair resolution of a difficult and controversial set of policy goals.”

– NCTA President & CEO Kyle McSlarrow, President and CEO, NCTA, December 1, 2010.  NCTA is the principal trade association for the U.S. cable industry, representing cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation’s cable television households.

“We are happy to see that the Chairman appears to have…[struck] a balance between supporting growth in the tech sector and consumer protection. On behalf of our membership of hundreds of California innovators, we are happy to support the Chairman.”

– Erin Lehane, Executive Director, CALinnovates, December 1, 2010.  CALinnovates represents 150 technology companies and is focused on championing the conversation about the future of California’s critical technology sector.

CALinnovates Applauds FCC Approach Towards Middle Ground on Net Neutrality

For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2010

Contact:
Erin Lehane
(415) 494-8626 x102
erin@calinnovates.org

San Francisco, CA – CALinnovates, a California technology coalition, announced its support of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s new approach towards the divisive issue of net neutrality.

“The issue of net neutrality had turned into an argument of extremes, this made our membership very nervous. Any regulation of the Internet is ‘make it or break it’ and during these tough economic times, we needed any proposed regulation to definitely not break it” stated Erin Lehane, Executive Director of CALinnovates.

“Innovation requires an environment that is supportive and not restrictive in order to grow as it has” said Lehane. “Extremist reactionary politics are not good for this growth-not in California nor around the country. We are happy to see that the Chairman appears to have chosen the high road, which also happens to be the middle of the road, and strike a balance between supporting growth in the tech sector and consumer protection. On behalf of our membership of hundreds of California innovators, we are happy to support the Chairman and his now proven ability to move past the extreme politics which have dogged this issue.”

For more information on CALinnovates please go to www.calinnovates.org; http://www.facebook.com/#!/CALinnovates and http://twitter.com/CALinnovates.

CALinnovates is a statewide coalition focused on championing the conversation about the future of California’s critical technology sector. CALinnovates brings together industry experts, thought leaders, tech innovators, policy makers and consumers in a nonpartisan mission to promote innovation, create new jobs, spur investment and support tech-friendly policies.

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